Released in 1972, Pong is one of the first video games ever made. And while it’s also the first commercially successful arcade video game machine, many people remember the title from those early home consoles, several of which played nothing but a built-in version of the game.
Now, three Uruguayan hackers have brought Pong back into the physical world with a real-life version of Atari's classic.
The 70's game was supposed to simulate a table-tennis match, but the version created by Daniel Perdomo and his two friends is more like an awesome variant of air hockey. The table, paddles, and square ‘ball’ are faithfully recreated, and players control the action using wheels similar to those from the original arcade machines.
What’s especially impressive about this project is that it’s possible to play against the AI when your friends aren't about.
It took the group two years to create the real-life Pong table, which is pretty good considering they learned all the skills they needed by watching YouTube videos, doing Google searches, and browsing forum discussion boards.
"This project started about two years ago. I had the idea and I was talking with a few friends and [decided] to take the challenge and see how far could we go, working at nights in the free time. Just for fun," said Perdomo, whose day job involves creating computer graphics for advertising. "We don't have any electronics, product design, or manufacturing background. All we knew for this was thanks to the Internet (Google, Youtube, forums)."
The table, which is powered by the Arduino open-source electronics platform, is still in a prototype stage. Perdomo says he will need more help to make it ready for production, and it's hoped that Atari won't have any objections to the project. Check out the video to see a little bit of how it all came together.